Towards a Melbourne (University) Intergenerational Report

Research theme: Security and political engagement
Duration: August 2013 to August 2014

Research team

  • Professor Janet McCalman, MDHS, UoM

  • Dr Rebecca Kippen, MDHS, UoM

  • Professor Ian McDonald, Business & Economics, UoM

  • Professor John Murphy, Arts, UoM

  • Associate Professor Philomena Murray, Arts, UoM

  • Professor John Polesal, Education, UoM

  • Professor John Wiseman, Business & Economics, UoM

  • Dr Terence Cheng, Business & Economics, UoM

  • Professor John Langmore, Arts, UoM

Project summary

Welfare states everywhere are running out of money, some catastrophically; others, like ours, incrementally as economies struggle to contain debt and fund increasing demands on public revenue. This proposal is to scope the risk profile of the welfare state and identify the multiple problems of sustaining the life course security, health, employment, skills and wellbeing of Australians. Starting from the Commonwealth lntergenerational Reports and the 2013 Grattan Institute report on Budget Pressures on Australian Governments, we will scope a fresh demographic analysis-a smarter, independent Melbourne lntergenerational Report-drawing on data sources and expertise across the university that are not accessible to the Commonwealth Treasury. The risks are threefold and compound each other: demographic changes that will increase demands on the governments for health, education and income and social supports; climate change and its disruptions and exigencies; and economic stagnation in the face of rising energy costs, global debt and resource limitations. The Australian people derive their fundamental sense of security from state support in sickness, disability, unemployment, homelessness and education: to lose the welfare state is to break the social contract between citizens and the state.